Henrietta Brealey
Chief Executive | Greater Birmingham
Chambers of Commerce

“The Centre for Cities annual Cities Outlook report is highly valuable reading. Our organisation exists to Connect, Support and Grow Greater Birmingham’s businesses. We need high quality data and intelligence to enable our work to both communicate the specific needs and experiences of local businesses to stakeholders and directly offer relevant support that adapts to emerging trends. The Cities Outlook provides us with meaningful insights into the major trends affecting Birmingham, and, critically, how it compares to other cities across the UK.”



Tracy Brabin
Mayor of West Yorkshire

“There’s still a significant divide between the North and South, which is having a hugely negative economic impact on the communities of West Yorkshire and beyond – particularly now, during the worst cost of living crisis in decades. Further devolution and investment in our region are urgently needed to level up the country and provide support to those who need it most.

The regional data that this research provides is invaluable, with further analysis allowing us to make key decisions to achieve our vital goals.”


Andy Burnham
Mayor of Greater Manchester

“Centre for Cities has been a powerful advocate for the role that city-regions can play in addressing the major policy challenges facing the UK, so I’m pleased to see Cities Outlook 2023 continue this work.

This report shines a spotlight on pressing questions of economic inactivity and persistent regional inequalities, and sets out clear recommendations for what Government could do to support local leaders to tackle them. We welcome the call for an Innovation and Growth Package for Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Greater Glasgow, which would help to unlock the full potential of our places for the benefit of the whole UK economy.

Clear and comprehensive reporting like this helps local leaders and policymakers to address the challenges they face. It also reflects the impact of what places like Greater Manchester are already doing to make a difference for our residents using the devolved powers and resources at our disposal – and offers an insight into what more we could do with even greater support.”


Councillor Abi Brown
Leader | Stoke-on-Trent City Council

“As the Leader of a Levelling Up city and one of the UK’s fastest growing economies, I rely on Cities Outlook for its objective insights and detailed analysis. As well as providing a vital annual health check for our sector, Cities Outlook’s invaluable big picture perspective helps us to gauge how far we’ve progressed and get to grips with the key challenges and opportunities for our city in the year ahead.”


Jane Paterson-Todd
Chief Executive | Cambridge Ahead

“For anyone with an interest in urban economies, Cities Outlook is essential reading. Cambridge Ahead finds the report’s data extremely valuable in understanding Cambridge’s position relative to other cities, and providing the strong, reliable and credible data that we need to influence local and national decision-making on key issues for the city region. All of this supports us in our mission to demonstrate that the growth of the Cambridge economy, particularly in world-leading innovation sectors, will drive regional prosperity and the success of the UK economy.”


Tony Wilson
Director | Institute of Employment Studies

“This year’s Outlook sets out clearly that behind the headlines of record vacancies, labour shortages and rising ‘economic inactivity’, the UK labour market is moving at different speeds and with very different challenges and opportunities across the country. It also reminds us that many of these issues are not new: particularly around how we better support people who want to work but aren’t looking for a job, but also how we create more and better jobs in our major cities, ex industrial areas and coastal towns. As the report shows, in too many places it’s still a lack of decent jobs, rather than a lack of potential workers, that is holding us back. The one potential bright spot, however, is that there is also now a growing consensus that we need to do far more to support full employment and decent work – across government, business and public services. It’s an opportunity that we need to take.”


Andy Street
Mayor of the West Midlands

“The data presented in Cities Outlook – including both the good and rather less good news about levels of economic activity – is a useful tool for myself and fellow local leaders.

The insights provided by the Centre for Cities team will help to inform the action we take here in the West Midlands as we seek to unleash our economic potential in order to improve quality of life for our citizens.

The UK’s City Regions are the real engine rooms of growth and Central Government is increasingly recognising that local leaders are the ones best placed to make decisions about their areas so empowering them further will benefit us all in the months and years ahead.”


Marvin Rees
Mayor of Bristol | Chair of LGA City
Regions Board | Chair of Core Cities UK

“The Cities Outlook data and insight provides a robust and independent view of the performance of the UK’s cities and largest towns, making it valuable for myself and partners across our city in understanding how Bristol is performing across benchmarks.

Place-based leaders strive to balance competing priorities and interdependent crises. In my role as Chair of both Core Cities and the LGA City Regions Board, I see how leaders across the country use the data as a means of tracking trends across other urban areas. Having the evidence base to support these decisions and track their impact is key for our long-term policy goals.”